Who Does the Bible Teach Us to Avoid? (Y1.T1.D48)
Updated: Feb 1, 2022
Pexels; "Kat Smith"
Today we will finish reading the seventh chapter of Luke. The events in this passage are only recorded in this Gospel. Jesus is dining at the house of a Pharisee named Simon. As they are reclining, a sinner woman enters the room and washes Jesus' feet with her tears, then kisses them and anoints them with expensive perfume.
The Pharisee said to himself, “This man, if he were a prophet, would have perceived who and what kind of woman this is who touches him, that she is a sinner.” (Luke 7:39).
This teacher of the law would have known Proverbs 7, which taught men to avoid a “strange” or “immoral” woman (Proverbs 7:5) because “her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the rooms of death” (Proverbs 7:27).
So does Jesus’ response to the woman dimmish the instruction in Proverbs?
I used to think so. Early in my relationship with Jesus, I used these verses to spend time with many people I should have avoided. While it is clear we shouldn’t stand in judgment of others, we need to be careful about the company we keep.
Psalm 1 reminds us, “Blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand on the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in Yahweh’s law. On his law he meditates day and night” (v1–2).
When we spend time with people hell-bent on destruction, we invite the enemy’s temptation to return to a sinful life. When Jesus accepted the worship of a repentant soul, he did not remove our need to surround ourselves with people who worship God rather than curse him.
This is true with not only our physical friends but also with the social media circles we join. Hate and anger are popular enough to put Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg under a congressional investigation. First Corinthians 15:33 reminds us “evil companionships will corrupt good morals.”
The Bible is clear: we should avoid them.
Jesus Is My First and Best Friend
1 My son, keep my words.
Lay up my commandments within you.
2 Keep my commandments and live!
Guard my teaching as the apple of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers.
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Tell wisdom, “You are my sister.”
Call understanding your relative,
5 that they may keep you from the strange woman,
from the foreigner who flatters with her words.
6 For at the window of my house,
I looked out through my lattice.
7 I saw among the simple ones.
I discerned among the youths a young man void of understanding,
8 passing through the street near her corner,
he went the way to her house,
9 in the twilight, in the evening of the day,
in the middle of the night and in the darkness.
10 Behold, there a woman met him with the attire of a prostitute,
and with crafty intent.
11 She is loud and defiant.
Her feet don’t stay in her house.
12 Now she is in the streets, now in the squares,
and lurking at every corner.
13 So she caught him, and kissed him.
With an impudent face she said to him:
14 “Sacrifices of peace offerings are with me.
Today I have paid my vows.
15 Therefore I came out to meet you,
to diligently seek your face,
and I have found you.
16 I have spread my couch with carpets of tapestry,
with striped cloths of the yarn of Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s take our fill of loving until the morning.
Let’s solace ourselves with loving.
19 For my husband isn’t at home.
He has gone on a long journey.
20 He has taken a bag of money with him.
He will come home at the full moon.”
21 With persuasive words, she led him astray.
With the flattering of her lips, she seduced him.
22 He followed her immediately,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
as a fool stepping into a noose.
23 Until an arrow strikes through his liver,
as a bird hurries to the snare,
and doesn’t know that it will cost his life.
24 Now therefore, sons, listen to me.
Pay attention to the words of my mouth.
25 Don’t let your heart turn to her ways.
Don’t go astray in her paths,
26 for she has thrown down many wounded.
Yes, all her slain are a mighty army.
27 Her house is the way to Sheol,
going down to the rooms of death. (Proverbs 7:1–27)
36 One of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered into the Pharisee’s house, and sat at the table. 37 Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38 Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “This man, if he were a prophet, would have perceived who and what kind of woman this is who touches him, that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
He said, “Teacher, say on.”
41 “A certain lender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they couldn’t pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most?”
43 Simon answered, “He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most.”
He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, and you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave me no kiss, but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” 48 He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 Those who sat at the table with him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Luke 7:36–50)
Reveal to me, each day, who I should socialize with, both physically and electronically. I don’t want to waste my time in the perishing path of the wicked (Psalm 1:6). You’ve taught me that evil companionships will corrupt good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33), so I’d rather become wise by walking with the wise (Proverbs 13:20)—and You are wisest of all, the best friend I could ever have.
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